KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) president Badrul Hisham Shaharin @ Chegubard and two others have been once again granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal for not giving adequate notice to the police for their public assembly on New Year’s eve.
Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Ahmad Bachek decided that he was bound by the Court of Appeal decision on April 25 which declared that Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 which penalises organisers of peaceful assembly with a RM10,000 fine was null and void.
Ahmad also agreed with Gobind’s submission last week that since the Court of Appeal has declared Section 9(5) null and void, the present charge over Chegubard and the rest were “groundless”.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suhaimi Ibrahim had argued last week for a postponement as the AG was appealing the Court of Appeal’s decision.
He told the court today that the Appeal has been set for May 27 at the Federal Court.
However, in his judgement Ahmad ruled that the appeal was inconsequential to the current case as it was not a reasonable ground of postponement such as no availability of witnesses among others, neither can the Sessions Court speculate the outcome of the matter which has yet to be heard.
On April 28, Sessions Court judge Azman Mustapha following the appellate’s court landmark decision had discharged the trio not amounting to acquittal, despite this they were recharged.
They were initially charged under Section 9(1) of the PAA which is punishable under Section 9(5) carrying a fine of RM10,000 for failure to inform the authorities 10 days before the 2013 New Year’s eve “Turun” rally.
This was the AG’s second attempt to re-charge peaceful assembly activists following the failure to re-charge Selangor state assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad on May 6.
Gobind: Decision is signal to AG to stop re-charging
Speaking to reporters later, Gobind said that the decision was a signal sent to the Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Ghani Pattail to stop re-charging under laws which are considered unconstitutional.
“He should respect the Court of Appeal decision and stop charging persons with offences which have been declared unconstitutional. It is a complete and utter disrespect by the AG,” he said.
Another counsel for the trio, Eric Paulsen echoed this sentiment adding that he will take instructions from his clients on whether to sue the AG personally as his actions to re-charge based on a law which no longer exists is “unacceptable and amounts to harassment”.
He also clarified that his side has yet to receive the petition of appeal by the AG on the Court of Appeal decision.
“We are not even sure on what grounds are they appealing. We are confident that the Court of Appeal decision was an excellent one and it will be upheld by the Federal Court”.
BY TARANI PALANI, FZ.Com